Everyone who’s been around me while I sleep knows how loud I can be in terms of my snoring. I’ve always thought that there isn’t anything wrong, that it’s just a fact of life – some people become really loud snorers, and you just live with it.
Turns out, Ann noted that while I sleep, there are many instances I stop breathing. So during my first visit to the doctor, I pointed it out and she sent me to the sleep lab to get tested for sleep apnea.
The findings was that I had moderate to borderline severe sleep apnea. I stop breathing close to 30 times every night, and the bad thing about it is the stress it puts on the heart by not giving it enough rest, and if this goes unchecked, well, at some point, the heart just plainly conks out due to the undue stress.
To combat sleep apnea, enter the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. It provides continuous airflow to my air passages, preventing the soft tissues behind my throat from being completely blocked. The machine automatically adjusts the pressure as it senses my breathing.
From 30 times of breathing interruption, I now only stop breathing on the average of less than once a night, giving my body and my heart that deep, quality sleep it needs.
Takes some time getting used to sleeping with a mask, but hey, if it buys me more rest for my heart, I’ll live with the minor discomfort. Once you’re used to it, it’s not as bothersome as most would think.
So if you feel mostly sleepy during the day and you’ve woken up in the middle of the night many times feeling out of breath, get yourself tested!